Welcome one and all to the fourth edition of Instant Gratification. The focus of this feature is to provide TV Ragers with all the latest updates on the newest TV shows added to the Netflix Instant Streaming service, the ones about to expire for good, and the occasional reminder about just how much great stuff is already there for you guys and gals to peruse. Now let's get started with all the notable additions since the last issue went to press.
*Descriptions in quotes courtesy of the Netflix website.
The Adventures Of Tintin Seasons 1-3 - "Sticking close to the original comic book series, this animated TV show follows the thrilling adventures of quick-witted Belgian reporter Tintin and his trusty pooch, Snowy, as they travel the world, tangling with thieves, kidnappers and killers."
The Astonishing X-Men - "From Joss Whedon and John Cassaday comes a new vision of the X-Men, propelling the often-conflicted, mutant superheroes into the 21st century. This animated feature brings the comic books alive with stunning graphics and dynamic voice actors. Cyclops and Emma Frost seek to reform the X-Men with a vigorous clarity of purpose, but when a "cure" for mutants is discovered, their plan is threatened, and ferocious enemies test them to their limits."
CNBC Original Documentaries - This is a set of 20 or so made for cable documentaries about a vast array of business related subjects including McDonalds, Coca-Cola, Prostitution, Bernie Madoff, the marijuana trade, Google, Video Games, the tobacco industry, NIKE, Target, Oprah, EBAY, the student loan racket and many others.
Doctor Who Season 6 - "The Doctor returns, alongside newlyweds Amy and Rory, to face monsters and mysteries all across time and space. Together they find themselves in 1960s America, aboard a 17th-century pirate ship, and in a bubble universe at the edge of reality." Seasons 1-5 also available.
Fact or Faked: Paranormal Files Season 1 - "Ben Hansen and his team of paranormal experts investigate reports of a lake monster in Pennsylvania, a flying saucer in Arizona, a mermaid in Australia, an apparition in an Indiana cemetery and other sightings."
Ghost Hunters: International Seasons 1&2 - "Paranormal investigators Robb Demarest, Barry Fitzgerald and Brandy Green seek spirits in the caves and castles of Europe, South America, South Africa and New Zealand. Guest investigators explain the histories of various hauntings."
Happily Divorced Season 1 - "In this uproarious sitcom based on her own experiences, Fran Dresher stars as a boisterous Los Angeles florist attempting to survive the world of midlife dating while remaining friends with her husband of 18 years after he comes out of the closet."
Hollywood Treasure Season 1 - "This reality series follows auctioneer Joe Maddalena and his crew as they navigate their way through the intricate world of collecting showbiz and pop culture memorabilia, from the Wicked Witch of the West's hat to Mary Poppins's carpetbag."
Miss Marple Collections 1&2 - "From the grand dame of detective literature, Agatha Christie, comes the wonderful Miss Marple (Joan Hickson), a seemingly harmless, elderly spinster whose fierce intelligence never fails to uncover even the most dastardly criminals to plague Great Britain. With her passions for justice, gossip and well-bred manners, Miss Marple is a friend to all, many of whom seem to get into tangles that only the most perceptive of amateur sleuths can unknot."
Primeval Season 4 - "This sci-fi series enters its fourth season with the Anomaly Research Center team still recovering from the loss of three of their members. The team's research into time anomalies also exposes them to more odd creatures from the past and future." Seasons 1-3 also available.
Queer Eye Seasons 1-5 - "Five gay men -- an interior designer, a fashion stylist, a chef, a beauty guru and a pop culture expert - make over straight men in this reality series. With help from family and friends, the Fab Five treat each new guy as a head-to-toe project."
Spider-Woman: Agent Of Sword - "After an incident in her childhood, Jessica Drew is fated to become a full-blown superhero in this animated action series. Allied with the S.W.O.R.D. counterintelligence agency, the female Spidey defends Earth from multiple alien threats."
Babar Seasons 1-6 - "Inspired by Jean de Brunhoff and Laurent de Brunhoff's beloved children's books, this animated series tells Babar's life story from the elephant king's point of view, reliving his early days as a young pachyderm with important lessons to learn."
Bridalplasty Season 1 - "In this reality series, brides-to-be vie for plastic surgery procedures from their personal wish lists. Each season's overall champ gets a complete makeover and earns the wedding of her dreams, where she'll reveal her new look to the groom."
Sesame Street - I really don't think this show needs any type of introduction. After a few week absence from Netflix in which quite a few parents cried foul, selected episodes from the entire run of this beloved Jim Henson creation is now back to be watched anytime by kids of all ages.
True Jackson, VP Season 2 - "Teenage fashion exec True Jackson is juggling responsibilities -- and hitting her stride -- in the second season of this Nickelodeon sitcom when she convinces guest star Justin Bieber to help her raise much-needed money for her school." The first season is also available.
The list of notable shows expiring soon includes:
3/15 - The Jonas Brothers
3/16 - Four assorted episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000 including The Crawling Eye and Blood Waters Of Dr. Z
3/17 - Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Bizarre Foods, Ghost Adventures, Five more episodes of MST3k (all featuring Gamera)
And this edition's classic pick (a great show that has long been available to stream) is another two season series that isn't very old, but was criminally overlooked during it's run:
Jericho: Seasons 1&2 - This short lived series about the aftermath of a nuclear attack on the United States which decimated most of the big cities didn't attract the largest audience in the world, but as witnessed by the massive fan campaign to save the show, it's viewership was nothing if not loyal. The bulk of the plot centers around the trials and tribulations experienced by Skeet Ulrich's Jake Green, his estranged family, and the rest of the population of the small town of Jericho, Kansas as everyone works to both survive and figure out what caused the atomic disaster. While the super short second season saw the writers get way too ambitious in an effort to get renewed for a second time and the resulting convoluted mythology confuse even loyal fans, the first 22 episodes are one of the best takes on a post apocalypse TV has ever offered. The style is very intimate and will make you care about the characters and their struggles.
And that's it for this fourth edition of Instant Gratification. I hope you found it informative and at least fairly entertaining. See you next time.